University of Portland's Team Night Ranger came up with the idea for a motion detector for backpackers that will alert them to any intruders in their campsite with flashing lights and loud buzzes.
As you can imagine, the idea came from a real-world experience deep in the woods, and they quickly realized that be it bears, humans, or the boogey man — night time fears are shared among many backpackers.
Read the the Night Ranger interview to learn what their invention has in common with Harry Potter, what makes Elon Musk inspiring, and the mystery of the lone male hiker.
What is your invention?
Night Ranger is a lightweight portable motion detector. When motion is detected, Night Ranger will flash light and buzz loudly.
Where did you get the inspiration for your invention idea?
Two years ago, I was backpacking with my girlfriend. We had hiked deep into the woods and came upon a mysterious lone male hiker. The sun was nearly set by this time and we were forced to set up camp near him. As you could imagine, we did not get the best sleep as we worried about his whereabouts and our safety. I guess this why J.K Rowling named it the Forbidden Forest. Like Harry Potter, I thought about using the expecto patronum spell. In other words, the idea of Night Ranger was created this day, and with the encouragement of my brother-in-law, I began building it.
As you prepare to pitch your invention to judges, what are you most excited about sharing?
I am most excited to show the newest working model of Night Ranger. It is accurate and easy to set up.
Who are your invention heroes?
I am a fan of Elon Musk because he does what he wants and does it well. He understands when to risk and when not to.
Tell us about your team. How did you connect with one another and how do you work together?
Riley and Grant have been best friends since elementary school. Chelivah was first met by Riley during college. She has since become good friends with the two elementary buddies. We all work well together because we talk freely with one another.
What is the most important thing you want the judges to understand about your invention — what will set you apart from the competition?
Night Ranger offers security while staying lightweight and portable. Because of this, a large market is available for Night Ranger.